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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 10-12-2012, 11:07 AM
Nappy Nappy is offline
Registered User
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: '98 528
HVAC Issue, need ideas where to start

'98 528i

The temp control wheel between the center vents. When turned all the way to the cold position, air flows, no issues. When turned all the way to the warm position, no air flows even when the fan speed is turned all the way up.

I recall once, driving with the AC on, I noticed I wasn't getting cold air coming from the center vents. All of a sudden, I hear a very subtle clunk,pop,thud and then I get a rush of cold air coming from the center vents.

Would this be a "flapper" motor issue or something else??

Looking for ideas of where to start trouble shooting.

Thanks in advance!!
Past Bimmers:
'95 e36 M3, Dakar Yellow
'91 e30 M3, Alpine White

Current Rides:
'98 528i, Alpine White, Sport Package
'03 Stage III Audi allroad (~350WHP)
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:30 AM
edjack edjack is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 13,444
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
The center wheel is entirely mechanical. If you get a normal cold air flow, but not hot, the cable is either slipped or broken. I've not had mine apart, but you can lever out the center vent. Search here for more info.

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:00 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I'd start by typing /HVAC F3 in the bestlinks...

For example ...
- How to remove the IHKA air conditioning control panel to clean the circuit board (1) (2) (3) (4) & an HVAC (IHKA) sampling fan check - a cn90 15 min DIY project! (1) & how to remove the trim and bracket holding the MID & HVAC/IHKA panels (1) (2)
Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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